Important conversations

At Dal, we are committed to supporting and educating students about the personal, academic, and legal consequences of high-risk drinking and other important topics. We offer hundreds of opportunities to get involved that do not involve alcohol. We also hold students accountable for violations of university policies, including the Code of Student Conduct, alcohol and sexual harassment policies.

Family, friends and supporters can play an important role in influencing their student’s choices, and conversations about important topics such as alcohol use, sex, consent, mental health, diversity, inclusion, and accessibility that can have a lasting impact on social and academic outcomes. We encourage you to talk openly and honestly about these topics before your student arrives on campus. 

A few tips

  • Talk to your student about consuming responsibly to reduce risk of harm, and remind them that not all university students choose to drink alcohol, use cannabis or other substances.
  • Student perceive their peers use 20–60% more alcohol and cannabis than actually reported (NCHA-ACHA II, 2019). Remember, you have to be 19+ in Nova Scotia to use and/or purchase alcohol or cannabis. 
  • If your student chooses to drink, vague messages about "being a responsible drinker" lack clear direction. Instead, talk about practical strategies like:
  • eat a meal before drinking and eat while drinking
  • alternate non-alcoholic drinks with water throughout the evening
  • choose low-percentage alcohol beverages
  • take care of friends who become intoxicated
  • plan how to get home safely before going out. Encourage them to download the DalSAFE app so they can directly contact Dalhousie Security Services for safety issues on campus.
  • Conversations about healthy and unhealthy relationships are a great way to start a conversation about consent and sexual assault. Healthy relationships are ones that are open, honest, and where each person respects the other's choices and boundaries. 
  • Ask your student if they feel prepared to find help for themselves or their friends. Help them locate resources like Dalhousie's Sexualized Violence Policy and mental health services and supports (
  • Dal is a diverse and exciting community. Encourage your student to meet new people from different backgrounds and cultures, and to respectfully learn more about new perspectives and experiences and to share their own.